When I was 9 years old, I had an evening of heartbreak. These 30 years later, I can’t remember what I was so sad about, but what I do remember is how lonely it felt. I was laying on the floor, staring up at our stucco ceiling, tears streaming down the sides of my face.
My dad walked over, standing above me (clearly seeing that I was crying), and asked if I was okay.
I said “Yeah, I’m just counting the bumps on the ceiling.”
I wasn’t. He knew I wasn’t, but he also didn’t know what to do with 9 year old heartbreak, so he shrugged it off and carried on with his evening. And I created a story about it.
The story has a few parts:
- My hard feelings make people uncomfortable.
- I don’t like how my hard feelings feel.
- I have to figure them out on my own.
In my teen years and into my 20s, I got loud with my hard feelings, defiant almost. I still believed they made other people uncomfortable, but I didn’t care. I used them to push people away, and I avoided figuring them out. I didn’t have the skills to explore what was coming up, and I’d hardened to get through life that I wouldn’t have been able to access the hard feelings even if I was adequately equipped.
My spiritual journey was a beautiful reclaiming of these feelings. I became comfortable with vulnerability, I got better at asking for help, and I learned tools to soften and let down my guard and then dig into the feelings and understand what was truly going on with them.
And I learned how to transmute them. I learned energy modalities, worked with crystals, held fire ceremonies, cut cords… I was a powerful self-healer, but I also noticed that I started to use these tools to avoid being in the hard feelings. (Remember part 2: I don’t like how my hard feelings feel.) If the tools I had weren’t doing the trick, I had a rolodex of people to call on who could help me witness other aspects and let whatever it was go.
But in truth: the releasing is only part of the work. I’d so go far as to say it was the easy part. And I was avoiding the real stuff.
When the pandemic hit, I was a bit shook up, but for totally different reasons than the rest of the world. I’m married to someone who likes to be prepared, so we’d been gathering supplies over the span of several weeks and we were blessed with our needs being met. My son was studying across the country and decided not to come home, and also to cut off contact, so we had no idea if he was okay. My wonderful marriage had some big shake ups (that I’ll share more about in the future), and this one certain thing that I’d hinged so much on became a bit of a question mark. Even the cats were having brutal fights. I was feeling chaos – online as a reaction to the world, in my home, and within myself. And I didn’t like it.
The first big expression was an anxiety attack, my first in a year or two, but a brutally violent one. I threw up for several hours, went through hot and cold flashes and tremors I couldn’t stop. Energy coursed through me and it was uncontrollable.
So what did I do? I went to my tools. I started grounding practices, I did release work, I grabbed hematite and black tourmaline, anything to anchor the energy.
But what I really needed to do was give myself permission to feel really shitty for a little while, and then make a plan.
Here we are, a couple of months later, and while the anxiety has chilled, I’m still in and out of states of emotional avoidance. I’ve created new tools to process, I’ve channeled my energy into new gifts and offerings, and I’m relying on my energetic practices. I cry, almost every day, but just enough to release the immediate pressure inside me, not enough to actually heal.
Two months. And it wasn’t until today, until now that I sat down to write this, that it even occurred to me that maybe this isn’t the time to work the tools. Maybe I just need to let myself be sad. Some of these things ARE sad, so denying them is gaslighting myself, and for what? To delay dealing with something that’s just going to be waiting for me to deal with it eventually. It’s okay that it’s hard, I do hard things all the time. Honour that it’s hard and celebrate how fucking resilient I am to bounce back from it.
It’s time to stop pretending.
All of the structures that held up modern society have come down, and it’s had people freaked AF. Remember, this isn’t just your city or country, this is the whole dang world going through this. You are not alone in these feelings.
I’ve watched a lot of people suffer during this pandemic. I’m not talking about the people who got sick, or the people who had to face their fears and continue showing up on the front lines. (Bless both of those, honestly!) I’m talking about the people who put so much pressure on themselves to keep going as though it was business as usual.
There is nothing usual about this business. And business as usual isn’t working.
All of the structures that held up modern society have come down, and it’s had people freaked AF. Remember, this isn’t just your city or country, this is the whole dang world going through this. You are not alone in these feelings. It is scary, uncertain, and uncomfortable for sure. But no matter how much of a routine you stick to, or how perfectly you homeschool, or how you’ve perfected your recipe for banana or sourdough bread: the world is changing, and it’s okay to have hard feelings about that.
The question is: do you have the courage to feel them?
When you sit with hard feelings, a few things happen. You get comfortable with being uncomfortable (which is a really powerful life skill btw). You can ask the feelings what’s going on, what they’re here to teach or express, and how you can use that information. And then you can lean on your tools to release them.
But jumping to the tools like I did? That’s just avoidance, and even if those tools are working with divine instruments, angels or deities – there’s nothing spiritual about it.
A quick note on avoidance: there is a time and a place for it, not everyone has the privilege of putting their life on hold to all things to fall apart so they can be rebuilt. Sometimes, things just need to get done – the world doesn’t stop because things are happening for us – and our big feelings get parked because we don’t have the luxury to make space for them. Please know that if avoidance is a temporary measure you are using to cope, there’s no knocking that. Just remember to consciously come back to them… they’ll be right where you left them. I intimately know the consequences of burying feelings as a way of life, so things weren’t being parked for later, they were being flat out ignored and denied. It resulted in a major break down that cost me nearly a year of my life – and I don’t wish that for you at all.
So with all of that said, I have some talk to walk here… If you’re looking for me, I’ll be knee-deep in kleenex, pen and journal in hand, heart open and willing to get messy.
With love and magic,
The Lightwalker’s Guide to Energy Management
Working in the land of light and shadow is big, important work, and it’s not always easy. Aside from navigating our own beliefs and energy, the majority of us who do this work are also very sensitive, so we’re feeling EVERYTHING around us too.
Energetic maintenance should be something we do as part of our ongoing practice, not just as an SOS when the shiz hits the fan. This guide gives you the basics to get you started.